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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a junior in high school and I have always been somewhat interested in the military. As I got into high school I realized that with my grades and test scores it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of scholarship opportunities to gain a well-paying degree that interests me.

I was sure that this was my best plan and with my well-paying career I could go to trainings and courses to get me the skills and training I was looking forward to in the Military. My school offered the ASVAB for free so I decided it wouldn't hurt me to see how eligible I would be more the service. I started researching my options and when my scores came back I had received a 97. This was the spark that I needed to research part-time military options for when I go to college. I am not interested in support roles but combat roles (especially special forces and elite combat units) interest me. I'm still not sure if this is my best option for the future and I had some questions that some of you might be able to help me with.

1. Has anyone here served in the National Guard? Was it a positive experience?

2. How do those in the military or veterans view those in the National Guard? Equal veterans or cowardly weekend warriors?

3. I know that there is a chance of me being deployed, but I like civilian life probably more than deployed life (Gardening, fishing, hunting, relaxing). Is it worth it financially and skill-wise?

4. How would National Guardsmen be used during a SHTF event? Is it a risk that I might be away from family/college during a large event?
 

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#1. My son is in the guard and I've worked around them a lot over the last ten years.

#2. They get deployed a lot. Don't go into thinking that it's all about natural disasters and clean up efforts.

#3. Nobody does this to get rich, unless you're a general that buys off on some program to secure a position after a retirement.

#4. It will take you away from your civy life because you'll most likely deploy.
 

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I did 12 years of guard service beginning June of 2000. There are many benefits to the guard / reserve units. I came in as a scout and deployed multiple times over those years.spent 3 years as an instructor at for Knox and a handful of stateside humanitarian / natural disaster missions.
As far as your questions 1: it will be whatever positive or negative you make of it.
2: from what I seen over the years and the units I worked with , early on it seemed to be the typical animosity towards the guard and reserve guys. But as the years progressed and deployments became more frequent, training and gear improved greatly. The lines between regular army and guard kinda seemed to blend together.

3: keep in mind being guard or reserve can go from the advertised 1weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer to being deployed pretty much back to back. I think a lot will be more clear on that after the elections.
4: SHTF event could put you anywhere depending on your location your MOS the nature of the SHTF . You could be doing anything from handing out food and water, slinging sandbags, running supply convoys or possibly on the front lines.

Personal opinion is that any military service is a good thing for young people , it can teach you a lot of skills in every aspect of your life. It all comes down to what you put into it.
In hindsight I kinda wish I would have gone into an MOS that was more useful in the civilian world after I got out. The support roles aren't glamorous but don't discount them as non options just yet! They can often be just as useful in life and sometimes more useful once you return to the civilian world .
 

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Suffering Your Stupidity
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Looking into the Future, is National Guard a Smart Choice?

NO

Unless you want to be used like a meat puppet for politicians, bankers, & world elites.

Back not so long ago joining the military was noble, today you're just a fool/tool to do so because today we know the truth about what's going on. Maybe by the time you're old enough to sign up things might be different but I'd bet against it.
 

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YES

Look at doing 6 years while you do college and a masters. Also there is a huge difference between guard and reserves, trust me go with the guard.

I did over 20 years with some active and most guard. Had fun, great training, made some real good friends. Did get deployed a few times but also went to counties other than Iraq. The pay is nice but the best part is retirement pay will be twice as much as a a drill check plus cheap insurance. Down size is have to wait until old enough get retirement and have to pay for tricare unlike active duty.

I always jumped on the disaster responses too and even went other places for katrina and sandy.So I think when SHTF it's better to be in uniform. I would rather be the guy passing out food than the ones fighting others to get it.

I say talk to a recruiter and see what is near you. Remember they will tell you what's in their state so call recruiters in any other states you're willing to drive to.

For you questions:
1 - very positive experience
2 - others view you for what you do/did and how you carry yourself
3 - the money, training, and experiences was worth it to me
4 - maybe but I volunteered for the emergencies. The leadership always allowed students and those with employer conflicts to go. I took care of my guys because an involuntary week or two for a flood wasn't worth having them get out later.
 

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i highly recommend reserve/n.g. service. take your time and pick a good unit. i served in army/air n.g. and usnr for total of 25 years, pension is very welcome. i prefer reserves over n.g.: cant be called up by a governor for local disasters, so you can take care of your own; less political; more short active tours of duty if you are between jobs or semesters. read fine print of n.g. state univ tuition benefits if that is important to you, may not get much. pick your unit, go see them on a drill weekend, are the troops happy, well led, well fed? air and seabee units have more funding to go more places doing real world stuff. avoid units that are tied to a drill hall, gets old real fast, usually too-small units, incestuous. i saw uscgr guys doing cool stuff on the coast. as you get older, marry, etc you will enjoy the break from your normal daily routines offered by reserve service. you make a different bunch of friends and contacts. you get a security clearance. your military i.d. opens up some benefits. you get training in the field of your choice. the reserves are full of guys who like military stuff without the active duty mickey mouse routines, but you can always transition to active if you like. you can be a full time technician too at your home unit: civil service during week & reservist or n.g. on weekend.


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Many years ago I faced the same choice. Growing up without a great deal of money I wanted to attend collage and not end up with a ton of debt. Coming from a traditionally Air Force family I decided to join the Air Force reserves to pay for school.

I joined, went to basic and my job training school then was sent to Iraq after a few weeks in my new unit. When it was all said and done I'd spend a year an a half on active duty, done almost zero collage and realized I'd made a big mistake by not just going active from the start and joining a branch that would let me do a front line job. By law you have to do at least two years of service in your branch before you can attempt to change branches so I got an active duty slot (AGR) to finish out my last six months because at that point collage held no interest for me and I didn't have a civilian job any more.

Luckily at the time they had the Blue to Green program going on and I was able to quickly join the active duty Army as an Infantryman which I think was one of the best decisions I could have made as a young man. Now after 10 total years of service and 8 in the Army I am being medically retired from the service due to having a little to much fun overseas. If I could do everything all over again I would have joined the active duty Army from the start with an option 40 contract and tried to have gotten into Ranger Batt, by the time I'd realized they had it going on for cool guy stuff I was to old and broken to have any kind of chance at making it, and I wasn't really interested in that life style any more, but as a young man I think I would have really enjoyed it, and with the political climate as it is in the Army I feel they're one of the few organizations left that remains focused on winning wars and not instituting social change.


To answer your questions.

1. No, but the military has been awesome for me and changed my life for the better in many ways. I did a ton of dumb stuff as a young man, joining the military will always be one of the few smart choices I made.

2. The guard (normally called with disdain nasty girls) are viewed as second class soldiers at best and as a joke in most cases by active duty. Yes they have good soldiers, and the training they get is still Army training but no one respects them. I have a cousin who is in a guard unit and we deployed to the same place at the sametime in Afghanistan. He was a mechanic and his unit wasn't even trusted to work on the vehicles doing their jobs because they'd made mistakes early on and lost what little trust they'd been given. They ended up doing mundain jobs around the base and were mostly given the tasks no one else wanted, they also never once left the wire.

I know from personal expirence I've never once worked with a guard unit that I liked, and I've always dreaded encounters with them. Also they seem to have from what I've seen very high mortality rates while deployed compared to active units. Also from personal expirence when I was in the reserves we always got treated poorly by active duty, at the time I thought it was just them being jerks, but looking back on it with the hind sight expirence gives I feel they were right to treat us that way, most of the dudes in my unit had no idea what they were doing and we did make a lot more mistakes then those on active duty.

3. Here is my big issue with the Guard, most of them just want the benifits that come with being in the service without many of the sacrifices and hardships that also come with the job. They want the title of soldier without actually having to earn it. As a soldier your one goal should be to deploy and destroy the enemies of America, plan for it, train for it, exspect it. If you join not wanting to deploy then your head is already in the wrong place, you won't take the training to heart, you won't enjoy your job, and you'll be a liability if you do end up deploying.

Right now deployments are down, when I joined in 06 everyone with a pulse deployed period. Now not so much, but that doesn't mean it won't change. Back in 2000 no one ever thought they would deploy and everyone wsa very complacent about the whole thing. That changed very quickly as we all know and many people were killed because of it. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to admit you don't want to deploy, but it is a bad thing to join any part of the service with that mentality.

4. How ever the government feels like using you. And there is a good chance you'd be away. By signing up you'll be agreeing that if something goes wrong, you'll step into help stop it. So if something goes wrong exspect that you'll be sent to try and fix it, be it state side or overseas.
 

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If you want to join the military and go through college at the same time with the ability to serve in active duty environments, you may want to check out ROTC over NG. ROTC will pay for your college, and you will serve in the military as an officer rather than enlisted personnel. That being said, the codes of conduct for an officer are substantially higher than those for enlisted.

One thing that you may not know about the NG, is that the equiment that is available to NG troops is quite often older, and in worse condition than that of regular forces. --Which can quite often be in bad condition as well, as soldiers have been using and abusing it for years in battlefield conditions.
 

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I've been enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for the past 5 years as an 11b infantryman and still am. In that 5 years I have yet to get deployed. Most active duty look down on the guard until it comes time for them to get out and they realize most guardsmen get more money from the military for schooling than they do. I definitely don't regret joining the guard because it allows you to maintain a civilian life but still serve. With your score honestly I'd look more into the guard engineering or medical fields. Especially in the nuclear programs. You get much better pay and you will learn something that'll transfer to civilian life that can help you make a great salary. As for the shtf scenarios they are almost always volunteer. The big thing with the guard is that they try to impose on your civilian life by bare minumum amount. Only time that ive got activated to do anything that wasn't scheduled a year in advance was when I went to Philadelphia to pull securing while the Pope was there for 2 weeks. The guard is not a reaction force. We must be activated and supplied before we can do anything really. Personally as an infantryman I feel like I need to deploy at somepoint and I plan on staying in until I do. But if you don't want to deploy then special operations is not something you should consider.

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That being said, the codes of conduct for an officer are substantially higher than those for enlisted.
Not to be picky but i think you meant maybe expectations? CoC applies to ALL. Only segregation infers "senior", not necessarily officer.

Code of Conduct
for
Members of the United States Armed Forces
I
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
II
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
III
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
IV
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
V
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
VI
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
 

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Not to be picky but i think you meant maybe expectations? CoC applies to ALL. Only segregation infers "senior", not necessarily officer.
I'm referring to UCMJ Art. 133, Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a Gentleman.

While a lot of it will land Enlisted personnel into hot water as well, Officers have substantially higher expectations to uphold because of their leadership positions.
 

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I'm referring to UCMJ Art. 133, Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a Gentleman.

While a lot of it will land Enlisted personnel into hot water as well, Officers have substantially higher expectations to uphold because of their leadership positions.
I get ya, I just read your idea as a little vague. :)
Os are theoretically held to a higher standard but the reality is the stamdard is just that. The Standard. It's the responsibility which comes with command which can so easily land an O (or anyone in leadership positions) in hot water.
To the OP:
Guard isn't a bad option but a few other bits of info.
It's not always just one weekend a month/2weeks a year. Those "weekends can be 2-3-or 4 days depending on training. And if your unit has a rotation at NTC or JRTC, that can be 30days or more. Not to mention deployments and natural disasters.
If you have a civilian career that pays well, you'll really have to love serving because the money won't compare.
Jmho.

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Let the Debate begin
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I'm a junior in high school and I have always been somewhat interested in the military. As I got into high school I realized that with my grades and test scores it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of scholarship opportunities to gain a well-paying degree that interests me.

I was sure that this was my best plan and with my well-paying career I could go to trainings and courses to get me the skills and training I was looking forward to in the Military. My school offered the ASVAB for free so I decided it wouldn't hurt me to see how eligible I would be more the service. I started researching my options and when my scores came back I had received a 97. This was the spark that I needed to research part-time military options for when I go to college. I am not interested in support roles but combat roles (especially special forces and elite combat units) interest me. I'm still not sure if this is my best option for the future and I had some questions that some of you might be able to help me with.

1. Has anyone here served in the National Guard? Was it a positive experience?

2. How do those in the military or veterans view those in the National Guard? Equal veterans or cowardly weekend warriors?

3. I know that there is a chance of me being deployed, but I like civilian life probably more than deployed life (Gardening, fishing, hunting, relaxing). Is it worth it financially and skill-wise?

4. How would National Guardsmen be used during a SHTF event? Is it a risk that I might be away from family/college during a large event?
Is it a smart choice? Depends. It can be.

In Maryland, the National Guard has many more benefits than Reserves.
More money for college.

Here, if you chose to be a teacher (for instance) its my understanding they pay almost all tuition.

I have been in reserves, and active in 2 branches. Here is how I would decide.

Go to your closest guard unit, talk to them about observing what they do on the weekends while they train. Talk to regular soldiers that are serving there.
Not just NCOs, and or recruiters.

Figure out if its a good unit. Figure out if they have a MOS that you want to do.

Then, go to another unit and do the same thing.

Reason I say to choose this way is that you need to figure out if you are cut out for this. Plus there are good units and not so good units.

Read up on Abu Ghraib. That was a National Guard unit that was not run well.

You can go to a unit with good people who are miserable because they have lousy leaders.

In my opinion, the quality of the Unit itself will be more important than your MOS.

If you do sign up, sign up for the fewest years possible. If we get into a major war, you want to go to war with the Active Duty because you will get full credit, and are more likely (in my opinion) to be led well.

Do this now before you turn 18 and some one can trick you into signing up for the wrong reasons. Do ROTC as a Senior. What you learn in ROTC will help you make your decision if you are cut out for the Military.
 

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Let the Debate begin
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When you talk to a recruiter, remember, if its not in writing, it probably is not true.

I know 2 young people who went active duty in the past few years. They were both promised a good chance at: Special Forces, and Combat Photographer.

I told both of them, don't believe it if its not in writing in their contract.

Neither of them got either of those options.

The want-a-be Combat Photographer is my Daughter who is a Marine at Camp Pendleton, and is an Admin Specialist.

The Special forces guy, was her friend who served as a grunt in the Army until he got a medical discharge.
Something about being 18 makes you want to believe a recruiter more than an old Dad. ;)
 

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HidingInPlainSight 3%
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Plainly put.. IF the REAL time comes and the SHHTF, rioting, looting, etc..etc.. starts taking place.. Ask any LEO for an HONEST OPINION of where they will be!?!?!
...They WILL be at home protecting THEIR FAMILY!!... the SAME goes for ANYONE in the guard/reserve..whatever!!!

THIS IS REALITY!![/COLOR]
 

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Do ROTC as a Senior. What you learn in ROTC will help you make your decision if you are cut out for the Military.
Additionally, JROTC will help if you decide to join. You can likely enter the military as a PFC, Maybe even SPC just by having JROTC. Beats starting at the very bottom of the pay scale even if only by a wee bit.

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I get ya, I just read your idea as a little vague. :)
Os are theoretically held to a higher standard but the reality is the stamdard is just that. The Standard. It's the responsibility which comes with command which can so easily land an O (or anyone in leadership positions) in hot water.
True, it all depends on what superiors you know, and which ones you've caused to hold a grudge against you. If you get in trouble, you can get off if you have either made a favorable impression upon, or know the right superiors.

Also, if you get in trouble, or get in trouble with the wrong people, you may not get court martialed, but you may find that you've been transferred to someplace unfun like ThuleAFB, with no hope of getting out, and no hope of increasing your rank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I probably should've specified I was looking into both the Guard and the Reserve. I met with a reserve recruiter and the options seemed very applicable to me, although I have not yet met with a Guard recruiter. I'm planning on going to college out of state (Illinois has way too many gun laws and being between Chicago and St. Louis is kind of making me nervous) so I'm not sure how National Guard would treat that. I plan to stay in the midwest area (Kentucky and Missouri as of now, maybe Georgia though) so I'm not sure that the guard would work for that, I've heard it is hard to change where I'm enlisted. I know that the reserve only has support jobs but I might apply for an active duty transfer after college, depending on where my life is at. It really depends on the current election and what happens in college for me.
 
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